A Tanganmen follower at home
All photos: Irwin Wong

Photos of the Japanese Subculture Where People Wear Giant Cyclops Masks

Introducing tanganmen, one of the more underground movements in Japanese style.
Ryan Bassil
London, GB

“A lot of subcultures in Japan are so distinct and iconic that they begged to be photographed, and indeed have been many times,” says photographer Irwin Wong. ⁠

One subculture that hasn’t had the exposure of, say, the lolitas or the ganguros is tanganmen – a relatively new and more underground offshoot of the kigurumi subculture, where people wear full body costumes. Intimidated by the dominance of men in that scene, the artist Ozawa Dango decided to design these one-eyed masks, and now has a cult following in Tokyo. ⁠

Wong came across them on social media, and understandably thought they would make a worthy addition to his 2022 book, The Obsessed: Otaku, Tribes, and Subcultures of Japan.

A man in a suit wearing a Tanganmen cyclops mask
A group of Tanganmen followers in a convenience store
A female Tanganmen fan in a white wig
A Tanganmen female follower looking at beer
Five Tanganmen followers stood in a row
A Tanganmen follower in a yellow hoodie
A Tanganmen follower holding a can next to a fridge
Two Tanganmen followers at a convenience store
A Tanganmen follower holding cosmetics